BEFORE PERFORMING IN A RECITAL
1.Trust your teacher. I will never put on a student to perform unless they are fully prepared, capable and I have complete confidence in their performance ability. By then you would have learned everything you need to know about each piece and how to go about performing it. You will need to regularly review all the notes in the notebook regarding those pieces (as you should weekly), and do lots of visualization exercises leading up to the performance.
2.View your videos. Some students don't realize how great they really are until they see their videos. Mistakes that you feel are astronomical, suddenly don't seem so big anymore. If there are any mistakes, with my help, you'll be even more able to focus in on what they are, when they occured, why they occured and how to make sure they are corrected. Watching yourself play also enables you to better see yourself as others see you and enjoy your accomplishments from a different perspective.
3.Do lots of spot practice, review different starting points in the music and do not play the entire piece through too many times for 2 days leading up to the recital. People who play everything through too many times with as much passion as possible too close to the day of the recitaloften find that during the actual performance they have very little left to give. Save up as much emotional energy for the performance itself.
AT THE RECITAL
1.The order of the program does not reflect who is the least or most accomplished, but is set up according to which pieces would be the most appropriate to start, end, or be in the middle of the program. When there are several pieces which could fit each category, the order of the program can also be based on those who request to go first, 2nd, etc.
2.Stretch. My advice to always stretch, meditate, relax, or do a light workout before practicing, also applies in performance. Do this backstage, in a bathroom (if there is no wait and you won't take too long), or in a hallway before entering the stage or concert area. If you arrive early enough, we can stretch together. Tension buildup can mask any effort you put forth to create free flowing music. The more physically relaxed you are, the better your performance will be.
3.Breath slowly and deeply, walk with confidence, smile, get excited about sharing amazing pieces that you've worked so hard to prepare. Focus on dynamics, emotions, and being an actor or storyteller. Just Have Fun!
AFTER THE RECITAL
1.The only person you should ever compare yourself to is the person you used to be.
2.Celebrate your accomplishment! There are many people who wish they were able to do what you just did.
3.You may put a piece to rest for a while but don't let it rest forever. I enjoy periodically checking up on the condition of your older pieces. Although you will learn many new pieces by different composers and from different styles, remember that all the greatest musicians travel and perform the same peices over and over again.
Jodi Russell, B.M.,M.M.,NCTM